In St Andrew's Church, Borrowdale I miss it, yes, the gatheredness, the quiet of stone, the play of light, the human truths spelled out quite plain, some words that enter deeply, and hanging textures choirs weave resonant through centuries. It's strange to think how many years I steeped in those strong tinctures. The high example, high demand, the easy yoke that took me down, judgment's grip much closer felt than unearned mercy's offer. But still I search. And what remains? The heart-leap hope of Love's last say? The great rewrite of tragedy? I reach and take the careful pen, open the book at its ribboned page. Hand unsteady, I add your name – for other folk with firmer hold to speak it out in praying.
Denise Steele lives in Glasgow and writes when the muse cooperates. Her work has been published online, in Obsessed with Pipework poetry magazine, and was shortlisted for the 2020 Wigtown Festival Poetry Prize.